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Adventure Game Scene of the Day — Monday 28 January 2013

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Zifnab - 28 January 2013 03:52 PM

You’re all mad (except diego!),

Say that one more time .....  Tongue

     
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Wow one of the best Adventure Games ever made. I actually did a replay of the game quiet recently (on my 42 inch TV), and I was definitely OK with the graphics and interface. Smile However I still think it would be interesting with a HD remake of the game (2D graphics, updated sound ,but keep the same puzzles)

     

Anticipating:The Devil’s Men

Recently played:GK1 Remake (4), A Golden Wake (3), Child of Light (4) Memento Mori 2 (4) Face Noir (3.5) Tex Murphy: Tesla Effect (4) Blackwell Epiphany (4.5),Broken Sword 5(4.5), The Shivah Remake (4.5), Monkey Island 2 Remake (4.5)

Top 10 Adventure Games:Tex Murphy: Pandora Directive, Gabriel Knight:The Beast Within, Broken Sword:Shadow of the Templars, Gabriel Knight:Sins of the Fathers, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Tex Murphy: Under a Killing Moon, Lost Horizon, Grim Fandago, The Longest Journey, Blackwell Epiphany

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This is my kind of thread…sort of.

GK1 is a masterpiece. I don’t get the graphics complaints - they’re on par with anything else of that era. A few pixel hunts here and there (e.g. the clay and patch of grass), but nothing terrible.

The GK series is the pinnacle of gaming storytelling, in my opinion. GK1 is brilliant in how you start as a writer researching the voodoo murders for your novel. You meet a mysterious woman. You reconnect with your Gran and learn a bit about your family. Then all these different story threads converge in such a beautiful way. It’s emotional, exciting, and enthralling. A great journey of self-discovery.

GK2 and GK3 are equally amazing in their own ways, but GK1 always has that special spot for being the one that started it all. Each game has its own strengths. GK2 is probably the most “playable” and GK3 has perhaps the most epic, deeply rich story in a game I’ve ever experienced.

If Jane’s Mystery Game X truly is a GK1 remake or upgrade, then the timing would be perfect. This series, like so many other Sierra IPs, haven’t gotten the treatment they deserve since all the Vivendi/CUC/Activision nonsense of the past 6-7 years.

     

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I also thought the graphics were pretty good. Its been a long while since I played it, but I remember being quite immersed in the graphics.

     
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Some of you people here didn’t get it or didn’t want to get it, so I’ll try to explain what I meant.

I don’t dislike GK 1’s graphics and want it to be better for the sake of beauty, I just want that graphics to be at least that good (meaning clear) that I can see there’s something to pick out there and what that object is.
It’s not the matter of aesthetics (as some of you think), it’s the matter of functionality - with its fist-size pixels GK 1, as it is now, is pretty much dysfunctional for me.

Zifnab - 28 January 2013 03:52 PM

You’re all mad (except diego!)

Now THAT’s a great way to discuss things - call them all mad (except diego!).

     

The human race is doomed to progress.
Tony Clifton

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inm8#2 - 28 January 2013 05:47 PM

This is my kind of thread…sort of.

GK1 is a masterpiece. I don’t get the graphics complaints - they’re on par with anything else of that era. A few pixel hunts here and there (e.g. the clay and patch of grass), but nothing terrible.

The GK series is the pinnacle of gaming storytelling, in my opinion. GK1 is brilliant in how you start as a writer researching the voodoo murders for your novel. You meet a mysterious woman. You reconnect with your Gran and learn a bit about your family. Then all these different story threads converge in such a beautiful way. It’s emotional, exciting, and enthralling. A great journey of self-discovery.

GK2 and GK3 are equally amazing in their own ways, but GK1 always has that special spot for being the one that started it all. Each game has its own strengths. GK2 is probably the most “playable” and GK3 has perhaps the most epic, deeply rich story in a game I’ve ever experienced.

If Jane’s Mystery Game X truly is a GK1 remake or upgrade, then the timing would be perfect. This series, like so many other Sierra IPs, haven’t gotten the treatment they deserve since all the Vivendi/CUC/Activision nonsense of the past 6-7 years.

^ This. Only some of the puzzles were horrible, and of course the ending was a disgrace to the game. But back then we didn’t know that that was a feature of GK games.

     
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diego - 28 January 2013 01:59 PM

I agree the update would be in order (and bring Dean Erickson for it Grin)

Are you honestly saying that you prefer Dean Erickson over Tim Curry? Confused

     

Duckman: Can you believe it? Five hundred bucks for a parking ticket?
Cornfed Pig: You parked in a handicapped zone.
Duckman: Who cares? Nobody parks there anyway, except for the people who are supposed to park there and, hell, I can outrun them anytime.

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tsa - 29 January 2013 08:47 AM

Only some of the puzzles were horrible, and of course the ending was a disgrace to the game. But back then we didn’t know that that was a feature of GK games.

What was wrong with the GK2 ending? I loved the entire opera scene, the last puzzle in the catacombs, the tragic fate of you-know-who, and the very last scene on the bridge.

Dag - 29 January 2013 09:28 AM

Are you honestly saying that you prefer Dean Erickson over Tim Curry? Confused

I liked Tim Curry’s voiceacting in GK1, but he was terribly over the top in GK3. And of course he would not be a fitting Gabe in person. IMO, Dean Erickson did a fine job.

     

Now playing: ——-
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Ithaka of the Clouds; The Last Crown; all the kickstarter adventure games I supported

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I guess everybody has their own opinion on the GK series Smile

Personally i found the first one to be far the best, the second to be a big disappointment, and the third one to be quite good, but not as good as the first.

     

You have to play the game, to find out why you are playing the game! - eXistenZ

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zobraks - 29 January 2013 03:35 AM

Some of you people here didn’t get it or didn’t want to get it, so I’ll try to explain what I meant.

I don’t dislike GK 1’s graphics and want it to be better for the sake of beauty, I just want that graphics to be at least that good (meaning clear) that I can see there’s something to pick out there and what that object is.
It’s not the matter of aesthetics (as some of you think), it’s the matter of functionality - with its fist-size pixels GK 1, as it is now, is pretty much dysfunctional for me.

When I said I don’t get the complaints, I meant that that I don’t think it’s a “great game hidden behind poor graphics and a lousy interface.” I “get” what you’re saying, but I don’t think the complaint is very warranted. I knew the complaint isn’t merely about aesthetics, as my first post mentioned pixel hunts. People know what you meant. When they say they like the graphics, they mean that they are aesthetically pleasing and functional for the story and gameplay.

I don’t see any game-breaking issue where the graphics keep you from being able to do or identify something. Old point and click interfaces encouraged patience and curiosity. There was much more interactivity than there is today. Aside from a couple “pixel hunts”, this was a key part of the game. Complaining about the graphics, even from a “functionality” perspective, still exaggerates what is only an issue in a couple instances of the game (and in many point and clicks of the early 90s).

     
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Iznogood - 29 January 2013 11:24 AM

I guess everybody has their own opinion on the GK series Smile

I don’t. Not yet… Innocent

Although I have to say that Dean Erickson looks like Gabriel’s avatar in GK1. He may not have Tim Curry’s voice, but he definitely looks the part, imo.

     

Last played: Murder By Numbers - 3.5/5 | Heavy Rain - 3.5/5 | Disco Elysium - 4.5/5 | The Witcher: Enhanced Edition - abandoned | Whispers of a Machine (CPT) - 4/5 | Beneath a Steel Sky (CPT) - 3/5 | 3 in Three - 3.5/5 | Puzzle Gallery: At the Carnival - 2.5/5 | The Fool’s Errand (replay) - 3.5/5 | The Dig (replay) - 4.5/5 | Return of the Obra Dinn (CPT) - 4/5 | Beavis and Butt-Head in Virtual Stupidity - 3.5/5 | League of Light: The Game (CCPT) - 3/5 | realMyst: Masterpiece Edition - 2.5/5 | Contradiction - 3/5 | Tex Murphy: Mean Streets - 2/5 | The Last Express - 3.5/5 | South Park: The Fractured But Whole - 4/5 | Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (replay, CPT) - 5/5

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I agree, Dean really does look the part, and I do think he did a decent job in GK2, but when compared to Tim Curry… Curry, as an actor, is just on another level entirely. I must admit that I never played GK3 more than a few minutes due to its sheer buttugliness, so if Tim did a bad job there, I can’t argue against it, though it sounds somewhat unlikely, considering that every single other performance I’ve seen or heard from him has radiated of brilliance.

     

Duckman: Can you believe it? Five hundred bucks for a parking ticket?
Cornfed Pig: You parked in a handicapped zone.
Duckman: Who cares? Nobody parks there anyway, except for the people who are supposed to park there and, hell, I can outrun them anytime.

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*bump*



Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers - 4.5 / 5

Adventure storytelling at its best.

It took me a good long while to get to what has long been hailed as one of the absolute best games the adventure genre has to offer. Now that I finally did, I’m left to wonder why I didn’t play this gem any sooner…
This fictional mystery story, which is based on real life legends, tells an absorbing tale that clearly shows the extensive research that has been done into New Orleans voodoo and its origins. Writer Jane Jensen more than did her homework on this, and it gives the game an aura of authenticity that slowly gets under your skin and draws you in. It basically sets the standard of how storystelling should be handled in adventure games.
You play as Gabriel Knight, a wisecracking womanizer who owns a bookstore and moonlights as an (unsuccessful) aspiring novelist. Gabriel is being troubled by a recurring nightmare of a woman burned alive at the stake, and a hanged man that closely resembles Gabriel himself. Knight thinks these nightmares have something to do with the recent spate of voodoo related murders that have happened in New Orleans, so he decides to investigate those with the aid of Grace Nakimura, the feisty intern that works at his bookstore, and by abusing his relationship with his childhood friend Mosely, who works as a detective on the voodoo murders case. Gabriel’s investigation initially serves merely as inspiration for a new novel, but it isn’t long before he stumbles upon a trail that leads back to his own ancestral legacy.
The game starts off at a really crawling pace, with little indication of where things are going, but the blend of fiction and history makes it compelling. You as a player get steadily drawn in, just as Gabriel Knight himself is, and the story becomes more and more engrossing as it goes along. This build-up is unlike any I’ve ever experienced in an adventure game. It creeps up on you, and the story, coupled with the massive amount of research that went into it, truly is the biggest strength of the game. Jane Jensen is a master storyteller, as is evident with the world she created for this game - a world that actually feels lived-in, and with characters that have an actual history between them. The lingering tension between Gabriel and Grace, for instance, is a good driving force between both characters, and despite detective Mosely constantly winding up as the butt of Gabriel’s antics (which provides a few chuckles throughout), he’s a good foil for Gabriel and not the bumbling detective he might seem at first glance.
The narrator in the game serves to add to the atmosphere by speaking in a soothing and moody Cajun dialect, immersing you further in the New Orleans lore. And it’s not just the narrator (voiced by Virginia Capers) that does a good job, practically the entire cast consists of Hollywood voice talent: Tim Curry, Mark Hamill, Leah Remini and Michael Dorn are just a few of the many people you’ll hear in this game. Tim Curry obviously gets the biggest chunk as Gabriel Knight. Unfortunately his natural bravado slips into overacting at times, and while he does a good job overall, his performance sometimes gets a bit uneven. Luckily it doesn’t distract much.
The game sports a traditional point-and-click interface, where right-clicking changes the interface icon, representing a different action to take each time. This is rather cumbersome, however, since there are no less than eight actions in the game. Often it is easier and faster to just select the appropriate action from the menu at the top of the screen instead. Considering how closely related some actions (like ‘push’, ‘use’ and ‘open/close’) are, this could have been streamlined a bit better.
The menu at the top, a feature that most Sierra fans should be familiar with, also holds your classic inventory, as well as a tape recorder that serves as a means to playback any past dialogues - a handy feature indeed in a game that relies heavily on conversations. In fact, the detailed dialogue system enables you to discuss a plethora of topics with everybody, often getting multiple replies. Needless to say that a great deal of time in the game is spent engaging in dialogue. Sierra’s scoring system is also present to show you the progress you’ve made so far. A total of 342 points can be accumulated throughout the game, and a chime plays every time you perform a key action that earns you one or more points.
While the game doesn’t feature many fast-travel options, you do have a handy map of locations (several of which exist in real life!) you can travel to in New Orleans, the bulk of which can be found in the French Quarter.
The story itself is divided into ten chapters, each one depicting a different day. Each day starts with a highly similar cutscene that has mild variations throughout to keep it interesting. Key cutscenes during a chapter are depicted with comic-style artwork, which is a nice touch considering the game comes with a comic book that fleshes out some of the backstory. For the comic’s full effect in the game, it should ideally be read sometime halfway into the game (around day 6). That way you have a much needed frame of reference for it as it ties in with the history of Gabriel’s family - a history that only gets expanded on after a few days in the game world.
Apart from cutscenes, the overall graphics in Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers are consistent, highly detailed, clear and at least on par with its contemporaries. The only bits that seem odd can be found in the very first room (Gabriel’s book shop): some items seem more detailed than the rest. Specific hotspots like the newspaper, magnifying glass and tweezers appear to be in a higher resolution than the rest of the game. Fortunately it isn’t jarring, and I didn’t spot any problems (as far as you can call them ‘problems’) elsewhere.


to be continued…

     

Last played: Murder By Numbers - 3.5/5 | Heavy Rain - 3.5/5 | Disco Elysium - 4.5/5 | The Witcher: Enhanced Edition - abandoned | Whispers of a Machine (CPT) - 4/5 | Beneath a Steel Sky (CPT) - 3/5 | 3 in Three - 3.5/5 | Puzzle Gallery: At the Carnival - 2.5/5 | The Fool’s Errand (replay) - 3.5/5 | The Dig (replay) - 4.5/5 | Return of the Obra Dinn (CPT) - 4/5 | Beavis and Butt-Head in Virtual Stupidity - 3.5/5 | League of Light: The Game (CCPT) - 3/5 | realMyst: Masterpiece Edition - 2.5/5 | Contradiction - 3/5 | Tex Murphy: Mean Streets - 2/5 | The Last Express - 3.5/5 | South Park: The Fractured But Whole - 4/5 | Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (replay, CPT) - 5/5

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...continuing


The great music composed by Robert Holmes is adept at setting the right mood in the game, whether that’s safe and secure, foreboding, suspenseful or reflecting a feeling of unease. At times it has too much of a synthetic feel, but that’s mainly due to restraints inherent in games back when this was released. The soundtrack, coupled with the voice acting, can make you genuinely nervous at certain key plot points. When Gabriel explores an ominous cave in Africa, the narrator’s sudden explamation of “a shadow flickers in the corner of Gabriel’s eye” made my skin crawl and my hairs rise up - a perfect reflection of the danger of the situation Gabriel finds himself in.
And there is danger in this game. While death is not as abundant as in most other Sierra games of that era, it is still possible. Yet it always fits with the actual peril that Gabriel finds himself in, and evidently the amount heightens near the end of the game. During the first couple of chapters you have nothing to fear. Once you start getting closer to the truth behind the voodoo murders, and characters you’ve been talking to start dying, it’s time to start using the ‘save’ option more often.
Most puzzles in the game are well-integrated in the story, and are not too far ‘out there’ to solve. Most are inventory based, but there are a few action oriented (and timed) puzzles, especially towards the end. Typically, these are the puzzles where your character can die in the game, but they’re handled exceptionally well: the timing is tight enough to make the situation tense, but loose enough to be doable. And best of all is the fact that there are no dead ends whatsoever in the game (a significant step up considering most of Sierra’s games up to that point in time). Dexterously challenged players will also be pleased to know that you can set your character’s speed in the option menu. Putting it at the fastest pace will have Gabriel rushing through various screens like the Flash. This can help in solving the more difficult timed segments.
Despite making perfect sense within the game world, there are a couple of really hard puzzles that will have your brain cells firing on all cylinders. Unlocking a secret compartment in a clock, writing a coded voodoo message and deciphering some rada drum codes are some of the instances that could prove to be quite the challenge for most players. The rest of the game - and it is a lengthy game: I clocked about 20 hours in total - is more forgiving yet never overly easy.
In summary, Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers is an enduring adventure game that has withstood the test of time with honours. The main thing it has going for it is the quality of its script and the writing. They are of the absolute highest level, used to great effect to slowly draw you into the game’s wonderfully detailed mix of fact and fiction. The dedication and research that Jane Jensen has put into this game is apparent at each step, making this a true classic, and perhaps the pinnacle of Sierra’s entire catalogue.

     

Last played: Murder By Numbers - 3.5/5 | Heavy Rain - 3.5/5 | Disco Elysium - 4.5/5 | The Witcher: Enhanced Edition - abandoned | Whispers of a Machine (CPT) - 4/5 | Beneath a Steel Sky (CPT) - 3/5 | 3 in Three - 3.5/5 | Puzzle Gallery: At the Carnival - 2.5/5 | The Fool’s Errand (replay) - 3.5/5 | The Dig (replay) - 4.5/5 | Return of the Obra Dinn (CPT) - 4/5 | Beavis and Butt-Head in Virtual Stupidity - 3.5/5 | League of Light: The Game (CCPT) - 3/5 | realMyst: Masterpiece Edition - 2.5/5 | Contradiction - 3/5 | Tex Murphy: Mean Streets - 2/5 | The Last Express - 3.5/5 | South Park: The Fractured But Whole - 4/5 | Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (replay, CPT) - 5/5

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Thanks for the review! Now do yourself a favor and play the best adventure game aka GK2 Grin

     

Recently finished: Four Last Things 4/5, Edna & Harvey: The Breakout 5/5, Chains of Satinav 3,95/5, A Vampyre Story 88, Sam Peters 3/5, Broken Sword 1 4,5/5, Broken Sword 2 4,3/5, Broken Sword 3 85, Broken Sword 5 81, Gray Matter 4/5\nCurrently playing: Broken Sword 4, Keepsake (Let\‘s Play), Callahan\‘s Crosstime Saloon (post-Community Playthrough)\nLooking forward to: A Playwright’s Tale

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